The Loveland City School District wants to make the entire Tiger Family aware of a revision to the administrative guidelines to strengthen the district’s food allergy program. These enhancements to the program were developed after extensive district research of the policies for neighboring school districts, and were reviewed and approved by a committee consisting of district administrators, school nurses, teachers and parents.
Implementation of the enhanced guidelines will begin in the fall for the 2014-15 school year, and will have most impact on kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms.
Please see highlights of the changes below, and see the attached file to access the complete Administrative Guideline 8510 to Accompany Loveland City Schools Wellness Policy.
Parents and volunteers need to be aware of this revised plan because of the impact of the revised food expectations in the classroom. Staff, students, and parents in our District will be asked to adhere to the following expectations when using food items in the schools:
1. Snacks in the classroom: Students in kindergarten-grade 6 will be permitted healthy nut-free snacks, including fruits, vegetables, and grains. In specific classrooms, snacks may need to be further restricted to ensure the safety of students with allergens or other chronic health issues. Snacks may be provided by parents. Staff should not provide classroom snacks for students. If teachers are to provide snacks for any students without a snack, they should consult with a member of the nursing staff for an appropriate snack (ex. pretzels). Snacks in the original packaging are preferred, although baggies of snacks may be brought as well. Students will not be permitted to share snacks.
Students in grades 7-12 should not have snacks, unless required by a documented health condition. Snacks may need to be restricted in some areas to ensure the safety of students with allergens or other chronic health issues. Snacks will be provided by parents. Staff should not provide classroom snacks for students. Staff will share allergen awareness facts with students.
2. Celebrations: For kindergarten-grade 5 birthday celebrations, parents are permitted to bring in small, inexpensive non-food items for sharing (such as pencils and stickers) or principals have the discretion to implement no-food related birthday traditions (ex. Birthday Book Club, etc.). Parents are not permitted to share food with other students. If parents wish to have a food item for their own child, it must be consumed in the cafeteria during the student’s regularly scheduled lunch time. Students in grades 6-12 should not have birthday celebrations at school.
3. Parties: Kindergarten-grade 5 holiday parties will be limited to three parties per year which are Fall, Winter and Valentine’s Day parties. Room parents are encouraged to bring in non- food items for sharing and to focus on activities and crafts that encourage team building. Food items for these parties must be pre-approved by the classroom teacher and the number of foods or beverages provided should be limited. The classroom teacher will communicate with the parents of food allergy students and the health specialist prior to approving the food/beverage items. Food may need to be restricted in some areas to ensure the safety of students with allergens or other chronic health issues. Students in grades 6-12 will not have holiday parties at school. Student created/impromptu parties or celebrations using food are discouraged.
4. Incentives/Rewards: Staff members are not permitted to use food or candy for incentives or rewards. Items that provide positive reinforcement such as stickers, praise, encouragement, and other creative strategies should be continue to be used by staff. Individual student behavior plans may indicate that food be offered as a reinforcement if other interventions are documented as not working; however, those foods must be allergen-free in accordance with classroom lists.
5. Instructional Food Use: Instructional use of food in the classroom must be preapproved by the building principal through the use of a Loveland City Schools Instructional Food Use Form in grades K-12. The form should be completed whenever food is used in the classroom whether for ingestion or activity use. Submission of the form must occur no less than one week before the activity/event is to take place. Food should not be used for instruction if a substitute teacher is teaching that day.
6. School Sponsored Activities: School-sponsored activities that occur during the school day and include food must be preapproved by the building principal through the use of a Loveland City Schools Instructional Food Use Form in grades K-12. The form should be completed by the lead contact person (i.e.: PTO, club advisor, counselor, teacher, etc.) whenever food is used for ingestion or activity use. The form must be submitted no less than one week before the activity/event is to take place or planning is to begin. If food is to be sold/distributed for a fundraiser or school activity, district adopted timelines should be followed and healthy food is encouraged. In addition, tables that are nut-free should be encouraged and identified.
7. After School Activities: These regulations do not impact activities that take place after school hours including team or club meals, open houses, after school stores, vending machines or extracurricular concessions. However, all of these groups and activities are encouraged to have the food offered support lifelong wellness practices. Classrooms or school spaces in which food is consumed should be carefully scheduled to ensure that rooms are cleaned and sanitized before classroom instruction the next day.
8. Transportation: Food should not be consumed on any school bus. Activity sponsors and coaches should make efforts to have any food consumed before entering the bus or after arriving at the destination. Bus drivers are not to distribute food or candy to students, unless the student has a health plan that requires food to be carried with them.
9. Lunch in the classroom: Staff may continue to eat lunch in his/her classroom, or have students eat lunch in the classroom. Precautions should be taken to ensure areas are clean of allergens to avoid cross-contamination.
The Wellness Committee wants everyone to keep in mind that this plan has been established to reduce the risk of accidental exposure to allergens. The actions detailed in this plan will not completely eliminate the risk of an exposure; therefore students should frequently be reminded to advocate for themselves and use preventative measures to avoid allergens.